The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on Kendall Frozen Fruits Inc. (KFF), Newport Beach, CA for violating the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). These sanctions include barring the business and its principal operators from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without USDA approval.
KFF failed to pay $2,166,335 to two sellers for produce that was purchased, received, and accepted in interstate commerce from May 2017 to July 2018. This is in violation of the PACA. KFF cannot operate in the produce industry until April 2, 2023, and then only after they apply for and are issued a new PACA license by USDA.
The company’s principal, Susan Kendall, may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee until April 2, 2022, and then only with the posting of a USDA approved surety bond. The company’s other principal, Brian Klein, has challenged his responsibly connected status.
And in an amended complaint on Jan. 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) alleged that North Pacific Canners and Packers Inc., (NORPAC Foods Inc. or NORPAC) in Salem, OR, failed to make full payment promptly in the amount of $152,181 to two sellers for multiple lots of produce in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
After the complaint was filed, USDA and NORPAC entered into a Consent Decision and Order in which NORPAC agreed to pay the unpaid produce sellers in full and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $10,000. As a result of NORPAC satisfying the terms of the consent decision and order, the finding that it had committed repeated and flagrant PACA violations was permanently abated and the case has been closed.
USDA is required to publish the finding that a business has committed willful, repeated, and flagrant violations of PACA as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business during the violation period. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors, or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA approval.
By issuing these penalties, USDA continues to enforce the prompt and full payment for produce while protecting the rights of sellers and buyers in the marketplace.
For further information, contact Corey Elliott, chief, Investigative Enforcement Branch, at (202) 720-6873 or PACAInvestigations@usda.gov.
Click here for an overview of companies who previously violated PACA.